A rice salad with fresh spring vegetables, Pecorino cheese and lemony dressing. A great spring and summer side dish.
Adapted from Michael Chiarello's Insalata di Riso recipe
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice, rinsed in several changes of cold water. Rinse in a fine mesh colander immersed in a large bowl of water. Swish rice to release excess starches. Lift colander. Pour out water. Repeat until water is mostly clear.
- Kosher salt
For the Vinaigrette:
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
For The Veggies:
- 1 large bunch thick asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut into 1-inch pieces.
- 1 1/2 cups of peas (5-6 ounces), fresh shelled peas or frozen peas
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, washed well and drained
- 1 small head of radicchio, halved, cored and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of loosely packed basil leaves, sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese or good quality parmesan cheese such as Parmigiana Reggiano.
- Put the rice in a saucepan with 6 cups of cold water and one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 8-15 minutes (Different brands of rice need or less time). Check the rice for doneness starting at 8 minutes. The rice should be tender but not mushy. Drain the rice in a colander and run cool water over it immediately, to stop the cooking and to rinse away excess starch. Let the rice drain well. (Can be done up to a day ahead. Store cooled rice in an airtight bag or container in the fridge. Bring to room temp before using)
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking, until emulsified. (Vinaigrette Can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before using)
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a medium pot of water, with 1 teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add asparagus and peas. Cook for 2 minutes or so, until the vegetables are bright green and crisp-tender. Immediately drain and plunge the veggies into the ice water. When cool, drain well.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the leeks and radicchio, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and cool for 10 minutes or so.
- In a large bowl combine the rice, asparagus, peas, leeks and radicchio, basil, cheese and lemon vinaigrette. Correct the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- This recipe has been updated from its original. It had only one cup of raw rice and it called for a half a cup of olive oil for the vinaigrette. In the updated recipe, the rice is rinsed after cooking instead of being spread out on a tray and cooled. This updated recipe makes a more substantial dish with less oil and the same great flavor. Nutritional information has been added as well.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Side Dish, Rice Salad
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: Mediterranean, Italian
Keywords: rice salad with vegetables and pecorino cheese